I want to make hominy, I am having difficulty finding lye. Any suggestions?
Sure. You don’t have to use lye; I use lime, instead. This is simply pickling lime, available at your grocery store. And it does the job nicely, too. Here’s the process:
Add 10 cups of water to a stainless steel pot. Mix in 1/4 cup pickling lime. Cover and let stand for 5 hours. There will be a thin skin on top and a heavier layer of sediment on the bottom. Keep it that way. Filter the lime water, trying to keep the sediment at the bottom. Filter into a stainless steel cooking pot. You want the lime water to remain quite clear. Add 2 cups clean, dry corn and bring to a boil. Then set aside, covered and soak overnight at room temperature. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer 3 hours or until the corn is soft and the “skins” will come off easily. Strain in a colander then rinse well under running warm water. Rinse well, then rub corn until the skins come off. Put into a bowl and skim off the remaining skins. Drain and either store, refrigerated or use fresh. — Jackie
I bought cheap straw bales to surround the skirting and insulate the trailer on the acreage I live on. In the spring I used the now wet and very heavy straw bales to mulch my gardens. It turns out the straw was full of foxtail seeds and this weed has taken over my gardens. It grows later in the season and takes over whatever I have planted. It also overwhelms any perennials, like asparagus, raspberries, and rhubarb. Any suggestions on how to control or get rid of this scourge?
Foxtail is among the worst garden grass weeds. Sorry to hear you picked it up. I’ve had good luck spraying Grass Beater on this and other noxious grasses that popped up in my garden. It only kills grass and can be used in perennial plantings such as flowers, asparagus, and strawberries. As you know, I hate to use any non-organic sprays in my garden, but it’s either that or you’ll have to dig up your present garden and totally relocate it elsewhere until you are able to kill out the foxtail by either a deep mulch or frequent tilling. In addition, practice diligent weeding so none of the foxtail that survives goes to seed. — Jackie
I live in town on a postage stamp sized lot, so self-reliance has some limitations, especially when it comes to poultry. We built a 5×12 duck pen in our backyard and in December bought 3 Khaki Campbell ducklings after reading the article last year by Amanda Kemp. I’m enjoying it SO much! The problem is with maintaining the flooring so as to minimize the smell and mess.
I divided the pen’s dirt floor into 3 sections. One third is straw underneath a sheltered “barn” located above it on the second floor, the 2nd third is sand, then the 3rd part is a layer of sand with river rock on top of it (which over time is mixed sand/rock). The ducks spend 99% of the time on the rocked area and I spray it off with the garden hose once a week. I was using some diluted bleach when I sprayed, then thought that was too bad for the environment and could be harmful to them as they dabble around in it all the time. So, I switched to using baking soda. When that didn’t keep down the smell and the flies started getting bad, I found a powdered product called Sweet PDZ on line. I used it for a week and WOW, the smell got so much worse! It’s a slick, slimy, smelling mess now, even after spraying it off several times and switching back to baking soda.
So, here’s the question… should I shovel out all the rock and replace it with something else, and if so, what should I use instead? Also, should I use something other than baking soda to clean it such as agricultural lime?
As your ducks grew, so did their poop producing ability! Having three ducks in a 5×12 foot pen can create problems keeping it clean. (Ducks LOVE to puddle, splashing water happily everywhere.) I’d probably try to enlarge the pen, if possible, or build another one so you can switch them back and forth, maintaining a dry, sweet smelling area. If that’s not possible, I’d probably shovel off the foul smelling sand and replace it with new, then plan on raking it off periodically. By hosing it off, you’re creating more smell. Try to keep the duck yard as dry as possible, including using a waterer that the ducks can’t easily splash in. By making them reach out of their pen to drink will help greatly. Then they can’t bathe in their water and the pen will stay drier and smell much better. — Jackie